Lewis Hamilton faces engine wait ahead of French Grand Prix

F1 2018 Gets New French GP Gameplay Featuring Grosjean, Ocon and Gasly

Vettel admitted he may have pushed too much but was happy with third place. "But a fresher, newer version of that is going to be great, and have more power than the one I raced in the last race, obviously".

Mercedes ran its new engine upgrade for the first time during Friday practice at the French Grand Prix, and the team claims it is better still than the one they had hoped to use in Canada.

Hamilton finished the race in fifth place, while Sebastian Vettel won. You have seen that on Friday and we have been able to maintain the gaps to Saturday.

The Mercedes pair is poised for another one-two victory it achieved after starting from the front row in Barcelona last month. "It's really, really great to have this result".

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"We definitely needed it", Bottas said.

Hamilton beat Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas to pole by just over a tenth of a second, but was comfortable in qualifying throughout as he topped all three segments.

Having wrestled the championship lead back from rival and reigning champion Lewis Hamilton, Vettel is looking to build some momentum with the first ever triple header in Formula 1 history - France, Austria and the United Kingdom all being run on consecutive weekends - and remains confident of his chances on race day in Paul Ricard.

Vettel rued the mistakes that left him on the second row, but he feels Ferrari has a strong auto again this weekend as he bids for a fourth victory of the season after previous triumphs in Australia, Bahrain and Canada, and he will be starting on the Ultrasoft Pirelli on Sunday as opposed to the Supersoft that Hamilton, Bottas and the two Aston Martin Red Bull Racing drivers will utilise.

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Two youngsters were right behind, with Renault's Carlos Sainz seventh fastest and Sauber's Charles Leclerc an eye-catching eighth with a lap that will only have impressed Ferrari. With so many spectators stuck outside the venue, the large grandstands erected around the circuit remained sparsely populated throughout both practice sessions.

The biggest loser from qualifying was Romain Grosjean, who lost control and put the nose of his Haas into the barrier after having made the cut for the 10 fastest drivers. His final sector time eclipsed that of his team-mate to snatch a 75th career pole by 0.118 seconds.

Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley, one of those who did not set a lap time, had little incentive after being told he will start at the back of the grid after a change of power unit elements.

"The new engine feels clean and fresh, but we won't really know its full potential until tomorrow when everyone gets to turn their engines up".

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